Asus’ convertible gaming laptops return with new hardware and more staying power

3 weeks ago 29

The hits from CES 2023 just keep coming. Asus is rolling out a bevy of new hardware announcements for its ROG gaming brand, and among those are refreshed models of its Flow lineup. The Flow X13, X16, and Z13 are all getting hardware improvements, including the latest processors and mobile GPUs — but perhaps the most notable improvement with these gaming laptops is their larger batteries.

Asus’ Flow line is relatively unique among gaming laptops, sporting 2-in-1 displays and — in the case of the X16 and Z13 — compatibility with an Asus-made external GPU to boost gaming performance. However, the most recent iterations of these laptops suffered from abysmal battery life, something Asus is trying to amend with the new models of the X13 and Z13.

The ROG Flow Z13 will still feature its Microsoft Surface-like detachable keyboard.

The ROG Flow Z13 will still feature its Microsoft Surface-like detachable keyboard.

Image: Asus

The battery on the Flow X13 is jumping to 75Whr, up from 62Whr on the 2021 model, while the battery on the new Flow Z13 is rated at 130Whr, way up from just 56Whr on the original model. Those earlier battery sizes were a huge issue. In reviews from my colleagues, Monica Chin wrote that her “one complaint” about the Flow X13 was its battery life, and Cameron Faulkner warned Z13 buyers not to go anywhere without the power brick if they’re planning on gaming.

Curiously though, the X16 will still use the same 90Whr battery present in the 2021 model. And it’s worth keeping in mind that battery performance in real-world situations can vary wildly.

Details surrounding the other hardware configurations for the new Flow lineup are a bit scarce at the moment, but we do know that the X13 Flow will use some version of AMD’s R9 processor paired with an Nvidia GPU, and it can be configured with up to 32GB of DDR5 RAM and 2TB of SSD storage. The X16 offers similar specifications but will be configured exclusively with Intel processors.

The Z13, on the other hand, will be restricted to a maximum of 16GB of DDR5 RAM and 1TB of storage. Naturally, there will be a variety of display options available for the new laptops, but only the X16 will have the option for a 240Hz display equipped with Asus’ Nebula technology that offers a peak brightness of up to 1,200 nits.

The new ROG Flow X16 and Z13 will be compatible with Asus’ external GPUs for additional gaming power.

The new ROG Flow X16 and Z13 will be compatible with Asus’ external GPUs for additional gaming power.

Image: Asus

Final pricing and availability for the new Flow laptops haven’t been announced yet, but for comparison, the 2021 models of the ROG Flow had configurations starting at around $1,300 reaching all the way up to $2,700. Those prices don’t include Asus’ external GPU, which represents an additional $1,300 investment, but will likely also be offered as part of a bundle with the new configurations.

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